agri-food-small_03Key research focus reflect the background, capabilities and specialisations of staff across the Bioscience Research Institute (BRI) in the domains of life and physical science,
nursing and health science, and hospitality, tourism and leisure. BRI acts as a conduit to facilitate R & D from staff in AIT spanning the Schools of Science and Humanities along with networking with staff from AIT’s Material Research Institute. Core disciplines of research include bioactives and functional foods, nutrition, minimal food processing and decontamination, food formulations/preparation and microbial diagnostic research with particular interest in tailoring for speciality (such as cognitively impaired, diabetic individuals and the developing foetus) and elite groups (athletes). Staff facilitate regional SMEs with complex problem solving viz a viz Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher and Parnership programmes, where AIT is the 2nd leading third level education provider in Ireland for uptake and completion of these.

Food For Health

Internationally-leading research is conducted in the emerging applied-areas of bioactives and functional foods that encompass the co-development of novel controlled-release delivery systems for gut health for both human and veterinary applications.

The latter R & D also includes novel packaging. Other areas strongly researched include includes food formulation, preparation and flavour research (including cuisine), and the real-time detection and novel non-thermal decontamination of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms in food and water (including Cryptosporidium parvum research). Specific links with enterprise in this space include Flavarum, Fotofresh Ltd, Milne Foods, C & D Foods, Nugget Quality Feeds and SynergyHealth Plc.

Key staff in these specialist areas:

Functional Foods:

Food microbiology:
Dr Andy Fogarty, Dr Mary Booth, Dr Mary Garvey, Dr Alessia Stocca, Prof Neil J Rowan

Novel processing technologies:

Food formulation, preparation (cuisine) and food science:
Dr John Harding, Dr Patricia Heavey


Mental Health

Abiotic Fertilizer Development

Smart polymer and seed delivery systems
Prof Clem Higginbotham, Dr Noreen Morris, Dr James Kennedy, Dr Michael Nugent, Dr Declan Devine, Dr Jennifer Hayes


Agriculture and Marine Research

Abiotic fertiliser development and novel seed delivery systems are at the fore-front of research for agricultural applications. R & D in the Marine space include development of novel decontamination technologies and processes for farmed fish and seafood applications. This also embraces rapid detection of microbial pathogens and toxicants that affect farmed fish and seafood. Specific links with enterprise include Bord Na Mona and Viola Water Solutions and Technologies.

These projects are frequently linked with enterprise and are also aligned with core strategic needs identified by both the National the Irish Strategy for Higher Education 2030 and Growing the Delivery of Strategically Oriented, Impact Focused Research, Development and Innovation in the Institutions of Technology (March 2013). Publically-funded research projects have been facilitated through various bodies including the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (FIRM), Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland Programmes, along with EU Interreg Sharebiotech Programmes. BRI also facilitates industry-driven applied research and innovative problem-solving solutions to this critical indigenous sector in